What is this new Customer Success / Account Management Role?
And what is the new CS/AM role at Microsoft and other companies?

Dickey Singh

The Customer Success Account Manger role

Have you noticed the combined Customer Success and Account Manager (CS/AM) role? Most people I have asked about it are either for it or against it. In fact, we could not decide what people prefer.

Merging the roles of Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Account Manager (AM) into a single position, often labeled as Customer Success Account Manager (CS/AM), can have various advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the combined role

Unified Customer Relationship

  • Consistency in Communication: Customers interact with a single point of contact, enhancing the consistency and understanding in communications.
  • Stronger Relationships: The CS/AM can develop deeper, more personal relationships with customers, understanding their needs and preferences thoroughly.

Enhanced Understanding of Customer Needs

  • Integrated Knowledge: Being involved in both success and account management, CS/AMs gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer's journey, goals, and challenges.
  • Proactive Service: This role can more effectively foresee customer needs and provide tailored solutions, potentially improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Streamlined Internal Processes

  • Simplified Coordination: Reduces the need for coordination between separate CSMs and AMs, streamlining internal processes.
  • Efficient Training and Onboarding: Easier to train and onboard one role covering both aspects, rather than two separate roles.


  • Reduced Payroll Expenses: Employing individuals who can handle both roles can reduce staffing costs.
  • Increased Operational Efficiency: Merging the roles can lead to more efficient use of resources and time.

Faster Decision-Making

  • Agility in Customer Interaction: Decisions regarding account changes, upsells, or service modifications can be made quicker without the need to consult another department or colleague.

Disadvantages of the combined role

Workload and Burnout

  • Increased Workload: Managing both success and account functions can lead to a higher workload, increasing the risk of burnout.
  • Potential for Overwhelm: The complexity of handling two distinct roles can be overwhelming, possibly affecting performance.

Conflict of Interest

  • Differing Objectives: Balancing customer success (long-term value) with account growth (immediate revenue) can create conflicts of interest.
  • Risk of Short-Term Focus: The emphasis on sales targets might overshadow long-term customer success goals.

Skill Set Variance

  • Range of Required Skills: It may be challenging to find individuals who are equally skilled in both customer success and account management.
  • Training and Expertise: Ensuring the CS/AM is adept in both areas requires comprehensive and ongoing training.

Customer Perception

  • Risk of Perceived Sales Pressure: Customers might perceive the CS/AM as being more sales-focused, potentially damaging trust.
  • Diluted Focus: Customers could feel that their success is not the sole focus, negatively impacting customer satisfaction.

Potential for Missed Opportunities

  • Focus Diversion: Balancing both roles might lead to missed opportunities in nurturing customer relationships or capitalizing on upselling/cross-selling moments.
  • Limited Specialization: The jack-of-all-trades nature of the role might lead to a lack of deep specialization in either area, potentially affecting the quality of service and strategic insights.

Balancing these pros and cons requires careful consideration of the organization's size, the complexity of products or services offered, and the nature of the customer base. Companies might find it beneficial to tailor the role to fit their specific needs and capabilities.

Robyn Alisat's new title is "Client Success Account Manager"

A quick search on LinkedIn for CS AM:

One quick search and I found several people with the "Customer Success / Account Manager" title. It is quite popular at Microsoft.
And new hires now have AM responsibility as well.

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